Is There Such Thing As Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Is there such thing as hypoallergenic dogsIt’s a horrible feeling to want a dog so badly only to find out that your allergies just won’t tolerate it. Some will exclaim, “Oh, just get a hypoallergenic dog!” But, is there really such thing as hypoallergenic dogs, or is this just media hype, and myth?

The truth of the matter is there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. But, if we search for some truth within the claim, it is true to say that some dogs may be tolerated better by allergy sufferers than others. In fact, many dog owners who previously wouldn’t have dreamed of sharing their household with a dog due to allergies are now happily living with a so-called hypoallergenic dog. But, it’s not to say that this would be the outcome for every allergy sufferer.

To shed a little light on the subject…

Why are People Allergic to Dogs?

It’s commonly thought that dog hair is to blame for triggering allergens, but in reality it is a specific protein found in a dog’s dander (dead skin cells), saliva and urine. As we know, dogs frequently lick themselves, and that saliva dries and sticks to the skin and fur. Then, when dogs shed, and skin flakes off, it sends multitudes of allergy-causing dander swirling about the house sticking to carpets, furniture, clothing, etc. It can also become airborne and inhaled by an allergic person.

What Type of Dog is Considered Hypoallergenic?

A hypoallergenic dog is a term used to describe a breed of dog that may be more easily tolerated by people with pet allergies. These would include breeds that shed less and produce less dander. A dog that sheds less would send less allergy-causing dander swirling about the home.

Will a Hypoallergenic Dog Work For Me?

It’s a tricky subject as allergies behave differently from person to person. One person with pet allergies may be tolerant to a low shedding dog, while another person may not. In addition, an allergic person may be able to tolerate one breed of dog classified as hypoallergenic, but not another. And, to complicate matters even further, two dogs of the same breed can each set off a different level of allergens. The only true way to know how an allergic person will react is through exposure to the dog.

Tips for Living and Coping with Dog Allergies

  • Frequently wash your pets bedding
  • Since dander can hide in carpet, choose carpet-free flooring
  • If you must have carpet, be sure to vacuum and shampoo often
  • Be aware that dander can hide out in drapes
  • Create dog-free rooms in your home, particularly the bedroom
  • A smaller dog will shed less dander than a larger dog
  • Bathe your dog frequently to eliminate dander from its coat
  • Opt for leather furniture, or other textures where pet hair is less likely to stick (or, vacuum furniture often!)
  • Consider a HEPA air purifier which can help reduce airborne pet allergens

Top 20 List of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

As discussed earlier, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. This is simply a listing of dogs that are considered to be tolerated better by allergy sufferers due to low shedding/low dander:

  1. Chinese Crested
  2. Schnauzer
  3. Poodle
  4. Afghan Hound
  5. Maltese
  6. Coton de Tulear
  7. Wire Haired Fox Terrier
  8. Portuguese Water Dog
  9. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  10. Yorkshire Terrier
  11. Airedale Terrier
  12. Basenji
  13. Bedlington Terrier
  14. Cairn Terrier
  15. Kerry Blue Terrier
  16. Havanese
  17. Irish Water Spaniel
  18. Tibetan Terrier
  19. Bichon Frise
  20. Shih Tzu

So, Does Getting a Hypoallergenic Dog Mean Spending a Fortune for a Purebred?

It’s true that purebreds are very expensive if you are buying from a breeder, or pet store and that may be fine with you. But if not, don’t forget to check around in shelters. It may take some additional searching, but purebreds show up in shelters all the time, and they won’t cost you a penny more than a mixed breed would.

If you prefer to work with a breeder, but would like to keep the cost down, you might want to consider a mix of two hypoallergenic breeds. These hybrid dogs oftentimes are much cheaper than either of the purebreds they are mixed with.

For example, there are breeders for the Maltipoo (1/2 Poodle x 1/2 Maltese), or the Schnoodle (1/2 Schnauzer x 1/2 Poodle), the Whoodle (1/2 Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x 1/2 Poodle), or the Bich-Poo (1/2 Bichon Frise x 1/2 Poodle).

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